1965 Citroën DS19 Pal­las £39,995

This DS19 was re­stored in Por­tu­gal and France; now it’s for sale in North York­shire. Rob Sco­rah test-drives a rather fine ex­am­ple

Classic Cars (UK) - - Driven -

Re­stored in Por­tu­gal and France in the 2000s, this Pal­las was driven from Porto to North York­shire in 2011. Since its im­port, it has been used spar­ingly, only in good weather, and care­fully stored. Cer­tainly that Blanc

Car­rare coach­work (the orig­i­nal colour from a bare metal re­spray) looks to be in very good or­der. The fin­ish is very even, and panel gaps are con­sis­tent and nar­row. Like­wise, the chrome parts look to be in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion. But if you look hard enough, there are tiny cracks in the rub­bers above the rear in­di­ca­tors.

Anec­do­tal ev­i­dence (the car’s own records are sketchy) sug­gests €60,000 was spent on gen­uine Citroën parts, which isn’t dif­fi­cult to be­lieve.

The DS’S un­der­side is as clean as the coach­work. It has been rust­proofed, gal­vanised screws have been used and a stain­less steel ex­haust fit­ted. The sus­pen­sion, brakes and hy­draulics also un­der­went a re­build. There are no wor­ry­ing damp patches or stains around tubes or knuck­les. Ap­par­ently the cor­rect steel hub caps were sourced at some great ex­pense.

The en­gine was also re­built (as was the gear­box), and lift­ing the beak-like bon­net re­veals a tidy, au­then­tic-look­ing mo­tor – it’s the three-main-bear­ing 2.0-litre. There are some blem­ishes to the paint in the off­side whee­larch, but there are no signs of leaks and the ra­di­a­tor looks new.

The in­te­rior is a treat for fans of any form of de­sign. The seats were re­trimmed in the cor­rect Rouge Carmin Jer­sey Rhovy­line fab­ric and white leatherette. The rear blind looks to be an au­then­tic re­place­ment and works fine. There is min­i­mal wear to seats or car­pets though there is a tiny bit of dirt in the cor­ners at the base of the A-pil­lars.

The mod­erne dash­board, steer­ing wheel and door fur­ni­ture look orig­i­nal, with the faintest of wear. That patina some­how gives the car a more au­then­tic feel.

Driv­ing this most iconic mas­ter­piece is slightly sur­real. The ride is smooth in that slightly dreamy Citroën way, yet the car feels as­sured on the road; Citroëns can be an ac­quired if en­thralling taste – lots of move­ment but also ‘con­nect­ed­ness’. The brakes can be a bit abrupt if you stand on the but­ton too force­fully, but that’s as it should be – they bring the sa­loon con­vinc­ingly to a halt from speed.

Chang­ing gear through that hy­drauli­cally as­sisted, steer­ing-col­umn-mounted gearshift is an art form, but tran­si­tions are smooth and power take-up pro­gres­sive.

With all those mov­ing pis­tons and com­pressed liq­uids, there are a few suck­ing noises and hisses, but noth­ing to in­di­cate worn pushrods or knuck­les. There are no whines from the trans­mis­sion.

This Citroën is as en­thralling to drive as it is too look at. It’s a shame there isn’t a more doc­u­mented his­tory to go with the restora­tion, though it would be hard to doubt the au­then­tic­ity or the stan­dard of the work done. Mag­i­cal.

This DS is an ex­cel­lent drive, though there’s no pa­per­work for the restora­tion

In­te­rior is a mix of re­stored and orig­i­nal

Re­built en­gine looks tidy and pro­vides a smooth drive

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